The Rig Keeps Changing

After the latest round of back problems, I decided to build a minimalist guitar rig for most of my playing dates. Something that can serve me well in rehearsals and small to mid-sized venues. A rig that would not strain the back.

I made a dramatic change to my pedalboard basically shaving about 45 pounds of weight and reducing the footprint in half.

Next was to simplify the amp.

I had been using my Swart AST Mk II head and 1×12 cab as my primary rig. I have several other amps including a 1984 Fender Super Champ, a 1965 Fender Deluxe Reverb, a mid-90s Mesa Boogie LoneStar Special and a Dr. Z Maz Senior 38 head and 1×12 cab.

After some research, I decided to get a 5E3 amp. I seriously considered building a kit or ordering one from a builder like Li’l Dawg.

My friends at Lauzon Music had a ’57 Deluxe Reissue from Fender’s Custom Shop. And I went to audition it last week.

The Dr. Z went back on a trade for the Fender ’57 Deluxe Reissue. The amp is a compact 1×12 combo. At 25 pounds, it is about half the weight of the Swart head and cab. Much easier to move and setup.

What I did not expect was the tone that comes out of this 5E3 circuit. My goodness.

I knew that the amp had been a signature tone for a number of players. The 5E3 design has both a feedback-less and cathode biased output stage. This is quite unique and this combination is also found in the Vox AC30. The tone is dynamic, articulate, harmonic and remarkable. I spent 15 hours over the long week-end in rehearsals, performance and practice. Grinning ear to ear at the great tone coming out of this amp.

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